November 19, 2011 / 2:09 AM / 7 years ago

HP, Intel plotted to keep Itanium processor alive: Oracle

(Reuters) - Oracle Corp accused Hewlett-Packard C of “secretly” contracting with Intel Corp to keep Intel’s Itanium microprocessor from being phased out, according to a court filing from Oracle in its long-running legal battle with HP over the Itanium platform.

According to Oracle’s filing, HP and Intel forged a “contractual commitment” to keep Itanium going through the next two generations of microprocessors, despite HP’s previous statements that Intel’s decision to keep investing in Itanium was its own.

“HP has secretly contracted with Intel to keep churning out Itaniums so that HP can maintain the appearance that a dead microprocessor is alive,” Oracle wrote. “The whole thing is a remake of Weekend at Bernie’s.”

HP spokesman Michael Thacker called the filing “nothing more than a desperate delay tactic designed to extend the paralyzing uncertainty in the marketplace created when Oracle announced in March 2011 - in clear break of contract - that it would no longer support HP’s Itanium platform.”

Intel declined to comment.

It’s the latest salvo in a bitter lawsuit and countersuit between the two companies. In March, Oracle decided to discontinue its support for Itanium, a heavy-duty computing microprocessor, saying that Intel made it clear that the chip was nearing the end of its life and that Intel was shifting its focus to its x86 microprocessor.

HP called Oracle’s decision “anti-customer,” and sued Oracle in California state court in June.

In August, Oracle hit back with a countersuit against HP, accusing the company of concealing facts during its negotiation over the Itanium platform. Among the facts that HP is accused of concealing it was about to hire Leo Apotheker as its chief executive and Ray Lane as its chairman, according to the suit.

Other claims asserted by Oracle against HP include defamation and intentional interference with contractual relations.

The case in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Santa Clara is Hewlett-Packard Company v. Oracle Corporation, No. 11CV203163.

Reporting by Jessica Dye, editing by Bernard Orr

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